A US federal judge in New York on Friday temporarily blocked a Trump administration rule that would deny visas to aspiring immigrants deemed likely to require government assistance, calling it "repugnant to the American Dream."
The rule, finalized in August, vastly expanded who could be considered a possible "public charge," applying to anyone who might in the future need temporary government help such as food stamps, Medicaid or housing aid. Previously it applied to immigrants who would be primarily dependent on the government.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule, if ultimately allowed to take effect, could be the most drastic of the Trump administration's hardline anti-immigration policies, experts have said.
Pushed by Trump's leading aide on immigration, Stephen Miller, the rule was due to go into effect on Tuesday.
But Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York blocked the rule nationwide, finding that the government failed to provide "any reasonable explanation" for why the definition of "public charge" needed to be changed.
It will now be on hold while the underlying legal challenges proceed.